An International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) delegation recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Cairo, Egypt. The delegation was mandated to examine the state of Egypt’s rule of law with a particular focus on the independence of the judiciary, and to produce a report of the findings thereafter.
During the week-long mission the IBAHRI held over 20 meetings with more than 45 key stakeholders, comprising: a cross-section of the Egyptian Judiciary including judges of the Cairo Court of Appeal, the Supreme Judicial Council and representatives of the Judge’s Club; representatives of the Ministry of Justice; a legal advisor to the Presidency; legal advisors to the government; a representative of the Egyptian Bar Association; representatives of the Al-Wasat Party, the National Salvation Front, and the Social Democratic Party; representatives of the National Council for Human Rights, the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights, the Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession; youth activists; and members of the diplomatic community.
However, the rapidly changing landscape and fluidity of events during recent weeks in Egypt has led the IBAHRI to extend its investigation to assess whether the developments have impacted the initial findings. A report detailing the conclusions and recommendations of the mission will be published towards the end of the year. It will follow an IBAHRI report issued in 2011 that examined the challenges facing the legal profession prior to and in the months immediately after Egypt’s revolution. Entitled Justice at a Crossroads: The Legal Profession and the Rule of Law in Egypt, it contained a call for Egypt’s transitional military government, future parliament, and the Egyptian Bar Association to carry out wide-ranging reform to strengthen the rule of law in the country and to address challenges faced by Egypt’s legal profession.
The 2013 IBAHRI mission took place from 24–28 June.
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